Guest essay by Dr. Norman Page
A very large majority of establishment academic climate scientists have succumbed to a virulent infectious disease – the CO2 Derangement Syndrome. Those afflicted by this syndrome present with a spectrum of symptoms .The first is an almost total inability to recognize the most obvious Millennial and 60 year emergent patterns which are trivially obvious in solar activity and global temperature data.
This causes the natural climate cycle variability to appear frightening and emotionally overwhelming. Critical thinking capacity is badly degraded. The delusionary world inhabited by the eco-left establishment activist elite is epitomized by Harvard’s Naomi Oreskes science-based fiction, “The Collapse of Western-Civilization: A View from the Future”
Oreskes and Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Intellectual hubris, confirmation bias, group think and a need to feel at once powerful and at the same time morally self-righteous caused those worst affected to convince themselves, politicians, governments, the politically correct chattering classes and almost the entire UK and US media that anthropogenic CO2 was the main climate driver. This led governments to introduce policies which have wasted trillions of dollars in a quixotic and futile attempt to control earth’s temperature by reducing CO2 emissions.
The origins of this disease can be traced to Ehrlich’s 1968 book “The Population Bomb”. He said:
“In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate”
Such apocalyptic forecasts are a prime indicator of the CO2 Derangement Syndrome. In “The Limits to Growth” 1972 the disease metamorphosed first into a search for “sustainability” and then rapidly into a war on CO2 . This is a bizarre turn of events because CO2 is the basis of all organic life and the increase in CO2 alone is the cause of 25 % of the increase in world food production in the 20th century.
The UN and Sweden organized a meeting in 1972 in Stockholm to discus the interaction of humans with the environment. Maurice Strong was appointed by his UN friend U Thant , to be the General Secretary of the meeting. Strong, produced an incredibly detailed 109 point action plan designed to give the UN input and even control over individual Government environmental policies world wide. As one of the actions, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) was organized in 1973 with Strong himself as Executive Director.
Ten years later it was obvious that the predictions of imminent death and disaster were wrong but Hansen et al NASA 1981 in “Climate Impact of Increasing Carbon Dioxide” resurrected many of the doomsday establishment scenarios:
“A sea level rise of 5 m would flood 25 percent of Louisiana and Florida,10 percent of New Jersey, and many other lowlands throughout the world. Climate models (7, 8) indicate that 2°C global warming is needed to cause 5°C warming at the West Antarctic ice sheet. A 2°C global warming is exceeded in the 21st century in all the CO2 scenarios we considered, except no growth and coal phaseout.”
“The global warming projected for the next century is of almost unprecedented magnitude. On the basis of our model calculations, we estimate it to be 2.5°C for a scenario with slow energy growth and a mixture of nonfossil and fossil fuels. This would exceed the temperature during the altithermal (6000 years ago) and the previous (Eemian)interglacial period 125,000 years ago(53), and would approach the warmth of the Mesozoic, the age of dinosaurs”… Hansen said :”The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”
….” if we burn all fossil fuels, we will destroy the planet we know. Carbon dioxide would increase to 500 ppm or more. We would set the planet on a course to the ice-free state, with sea level 75 metres higher.”
For political and selfish career reasons the UNEP bureaucrats wanted to take control of the global economy. They realized that if they could use Hansen type forecasts to show that the CO2 produced by burning coal and oil to make electricity and drive cars might cause a dangerous warming of the earth they would be able to scare Governments and peoples into writing laws giving the UN (and themselves) control over the world’s economy by controlling the type of energy used and its price.
To this end in 1985 UNEP organized a meeting of scientists at Villach in Austria in 1985 to see if they could show that CO2 was dangerous. The scientific report said:
“Although the observed global-scale warming experienced over the past ~100 years is compatible with model estimates of the magnitude of the greenhouse effect, unequivocal, statistically convincing detection of the effects of changing CO2 and trace gas levels on climate is not yet possible. An important problem in the positive identification of a greenhouse gas effect on climate is to explain the medium to long time scale (~decades or more) fluctuations in the past record. Attempts to model such changes have, to date, suffered from a number of deficiencies.”
By contrast the official summary statement said:
“As a result of the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, it is now believed that in the first half of the next century a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than any in man’s history. “
The Villach report made two important recommendations. As one result the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up to select from the evidence and from time to time produce reports which would show that CO2 was the main driver of dangerous climate change. A second recommendation resulted in a meeting in Rio in 1992 chaired by Maurice Strong himself which produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,later signed by 196 governments.
The objective of the Convention is to keep CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that they guessed would prevent dangerous man made interference with the climate system.
This treaty is a comprehensive, politically driven, political action plan called Agenda 21 designed to produce a centrally managed global society which would control every aspect of the life of every one on earth.
It says :
“The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures”
Apocalyptic forecasts are used as the main drivers of demands for action and for enormous investments such as those in the new IPCC SR1.5 report and in the work of William Nordhaus who advocates a carbon tax .Nordhaus is quoted in the NYT as saying
“If we start moving very swiftly in the next 20 years, we might able to avoid 2 degrees, but if we don’t do that, we’re in for changes in the Earth’s system that we can’t begin to understand in depth. Warming of 4, 5, 6 degrees will bring changes we don’t understand because it’s outside the range of human experience in the last 100,000 to 200,000 years.”
Nordhaus’ science and economics basis is discussed in “Projections and Uncertainties about Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies” https://doi.org/10.1257/pol.20170046
“The climate module has been revised to reflect recent earth system models. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is based on the analysis of Olsen et al. (2012).The reasons for using this approach are provided in Gillingham et al. (2018). The final estimate is a mean warming of 3.1°C for an equilibrium CO2 doubling. The transient climate sensitivity or TCS (sometimes called the transient climate response) is adjusted to correspond to models with an ECS of 3.1°C, which produces a TCS of 1.7°C”
“C2. Pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems (high confidence). These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of mitigation options and a significant upscaling of investments in those options (medium confidence)………..
C2.6 Total annual average energy-related mitigation investment for the period 2015 to 2050 in pathways limiting warming to 1.5°C is estimated to be around 900 billion USD2015 (range of 180 billion to 1800 billion USD2015 across six models17). This corresponds to total annual average energy supply investments of 1600 to 3800 billion USD2015 and total annual average energy demand investments of 700 to 1000 billion USD2015 for the period 2015 to 2050, and an increase in total energy-related investments of about 12% (range of 3% to 23%) in 1.5°C pathways relative to 2°C pathways. Average annual investment in low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency are upscaled by roughly a factor of five (range of factor of 4 to 5) by 2050 compared to 2015 (medium confidence).”
Those proselytizing the warming scenario are closely following the UNFCCC Agenda 21 political plan of action. Bernie Sanders says :
“Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. The debate is over, and the scientific jury is in: global climate change is real, it is caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels and it poses a catastrophic threat to the long-term longevity of our planet. If we do nothing, the planet will heat up five to ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. That would cause enough sea level rise from melting glaciers to put cities like New York and Miami underwater – along with more frequent asthma attacks, higher food prices, insufficient drinking water and more infectious diseases.”
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed taxing the wealthy as high as 70% to fund a climate change plan she’s pushing called the “Green New Deal.” She also says “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change”
Fortunately, reality is finally beginning to intrude upon the dangerous global warming meme.
Curry, 2017 in “Climate Models for the layman” says:
“GCMs are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting global or regional climate change on time scales of decades to centuries, with any high level of confidence. By extension, GCMs are not fit for the purpose of justifying political policies to fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems…..”
Scafetta et al 2017 states:
“The severe discrepancy between observations and modeled predictions……further confirms….that the current climate models have significantly exaggerated the anthropogenic greenhouse warming effect”
Hansen et al 2018 “Global Temperature in 2017” said:
“However, the solar variability is not negligible in comparison with the energy imbalance that drives global temperature change. Therefore, because of the combination of the strong 2016 El Niño and the phase of the solar cycle, it is plausible, if not likely, that the next 10 years of global temperature change will leave an impression of a ‘global warming hiatus’.”
Page, 2017 in “The coming cooling: usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers.” said:
“This paper argued that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted.”
The reality is that Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths.
It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in relation to the current phases of these different interacting natural quasi-periodicities which fall into two main categories.
- The orbital long wave Milankovitch eccentricity,obliquity, and precessional cycles.
- Solar “activity” cycles with possibly multi-millennial, millennial, centennial and decadal time scales.
When analyzing complex systems with multiple interacting variables it is useful to note the advice of Enrico Fermi who reportedly said “never make something more accurate than absolutely necessary”. The 2017 paper proposed a simple heuristic approach to climate science which plausibly proposes that a Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity was reached in 1991,that this turning point correlates with a temperature turning point in 2003/4, and that a general cooling trend will now follow until approximately 2650.
The establishment’s dangerous global warming meme, the associated IPCC series of reports, the entire UNFCCC circus, the recent hysterical IPCC SR1.5 proposals and Nordhaus’ recent Nobel prize are founded on two basic errors in scientific judgement. First – the sample size is too small. Most IPCC model studies retrofit from the present back for only 100 – 150 years when the currently most important climate controlling, largest amplitude, solar activity cycle is millennial.
This means that all climate model temperature outcomes are too hot and likely fall outside of the real future world. (See Kahneman -Thinking Fast and Slow p 118) Second – the models make the fundamental scientific error of forecasting straight ahead beyond the Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity which was reached in 1991. These errors are compounded by confirmation bias and academic consensus group think.
Dr. Norman Page holds a PhD. in Geology and works from Houston, TX.
See the Energy and Environment paper The coming cooling: usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
And an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html
and the discussion with Professor William Happer at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2018/02/exchange-with-professor-happer-princeton.html